Skip to main content
5:20 pm
to address the immigration issues and what might kill the deal. they were featured speakers at the politico playbook breakfast with the chief white house correspondent mike allen. president obama has commanded the bipartisan plan and called on congress to act on the issue. this is just under one hour. i [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [cay national captioning institute] [applause] >> good morning. thank you so much for coming out early for our breakfast. welcome to those of you in life stream land, i appreciate having you. this is our first breakfast in 2013. we look forward to seeing you throughout this year after the amazing year we had last year. we will go inside the "gang of eight" this morning. they helped pull off a bipartisan agreement.
5:21 pm
they will take you inside that. before we chat with the senators, we will welcome manu ragu, who helped break the story. after that, senator mccain. before that, i would like to think bank of america for their partnership, making these conversations possible, including that incredible brunch where people had a great time. we had great conversations. the play book series is a form that makes it possible for us to talk in depth about the issues that matter most in washington. in twitter land, if i do it right, the questions will pop up right here. i got my first tweet. i will try to do that. [laughter] they will pop up as we come.
5:22 pm
now, i would like to welcome politico star manu ragu. [applause] thank you for coming in. thank you very much. was the "gang of eight" a secret? was their detective work in uncovering it? >> yes. they did not want to let on how much work and progress was being made behind the scenes. in washington, whenever word starts leaking out about what is happening, those talks blow up. as they were negotiating this was happening at the time of the fiscal cliff negotiations, much of the media focus was happening on the fiscal cliff. the staff was meeting, the senators were meeting, and they
5:23 pm
really only had the first meeting after the holidays. last wednesday, when they were close to finalizing that agreement. it was not until over the weekend that they actually finalize did and announced it on monday. things moved rapidly. on monday. things moved rapidly. >> as we pre-game here, we are setting the scene for the conversation to come. tell me something about the immigration bill senator mccain and senator schumer will not. [laughter] >> i do not think they will get into the details in terms of the hurdles that remain from taking this legislative tax out of the five-page document, a very detailed legislative -- >> [laughs] >> a bit of a truce bomb. taking this five page document into a very detailed legislative policy. there are going to be a number of -- this bill could be several hundred pages long, and we are talking about a very sweeping change, not just to the immigration system, but how we deal with them. how they actually do that and the hurdles, it will be interesting to see.
5:24 pm
>> you pointed out that this is one of the biggest debates. >> remember what happened then. this blew up in the senate after a big push by the bush administration and the bipartisan coalition trying to get this through. it suffered opposition from both sides, particularly the right, creating an amnesty, but we have seen some of those voices muted, at least in the initial days, and we will see. >> this gang of eight, four republicans, four democrats, who put together this framework, this immigration bill, how did we find out that the gang exists? >> talking to senators. one of our reporters was the first one to write about this. talking to senators about what exactly is going on on immigration, because the
5:25 pm
president was certainly laid the groundwork on the new congress, and as we know, nothing can get done unless there is bipartisan support, unless there is actually a legislative push. it turns out there was interest, and it all happened right after the election. lindsey graham made a telephone call to chuck schumer and said, "look, i want to start talking about immigration." john mccain started one day to talk about immigration, and what happens? we are where we are. >> some people know that capitol hill is amazing, because you can walk up to anyone, and that does not mean they will talk to you, but you can ask a question. when i moved from the hill, from the white house to the hill, i was like standing back because i was trained like not to approach people, and they were, "go ahead, approach people." i have watched you. you physically grabbed the senators. tell me the secret in getting these senators to talk to you.
5:26 pm
>> i do not actually grab them. >> yes, you do. >> i sort of hide behind the bushes and pop out. you try to develop a relationship over the years and talking to them and grabbing them in certain locations, where they are more predisposed to chat. when they are running quickly to a vote, for instance, i would not get the best interview, but if they are walking back to their office, you will have more time to chat and get to know them. over the years, you develop a level of trust, that they can trust what you will report will be accurate and is representative of what they are saying. being able to understand people's patterns, where there are boy to be at certain times, at times where you interview them. >> what is the buzz? immigration, the big bucket. what is there?
5:27 pm
how are they devoting their attention? >> the fiscal talks are taking a back seat, at least right now, because immigration is starting to drive the debate. that will be resolved, at least on the senate side, and then they will unveil their proposal, and as it goes through the committee process, but that will happen at the same time about keeping the government operating past march 27. they have to deal with those issues once again. this week, of course, it is
5:28 pm
immigration. there is not a lot for senators to weigh in on. there is no legislative text yet. we will see that debate really, really consumed congress in march, april, may, when this bill starts moving out of committee. >> as we say goodbye, what are you going to be doing today? >> i will still be trying to get as much information about what is happening in these talks as well as what senators -- how they view the latest immigration proposal, as well as several other things. >> and you write one story? five stories? what is your deal? >> hopefully not tens stories. today, i think the initial reaction is out of the initial stories, of this group. they are starting to move off of the news side, and we are
5:29 pm
going to start to get into what happened behind the scenes and onto some of the other debates. of course, the judiciary committee, that will be very important, as well. >> jumping in as the conversation goes on. thank you. appreciate it. [applause] >> and now, without further delay, we want to welcome senator mccain and senator schumer. [applause] senator schumer, thank you very much. senator schumer did not trust us to have sweet'n low this time. >> it is made in brooklyn. 1200 employees. eat sweet'n low. it is good for you. >> the aid package, the amount of money in these times of
5:30 pm
austerity, one of your biggest accomplishments. >> thank you. there are so many people in new york waiting for that aid. i was in highland park, and i was with someone in their home community. 60% of the stores on main street are still not open. half of the homes cannot be occupied. they could not be rebuilt because of the money not being there. no contract. no bank will lend money unless they know the money is there. now they know that people will be able to get back and get on with their lives. >> the vice president is going also. it is an annual conference. i i remember a few years ago, vladimir putin came to talk.
5:31 pm
>> what is your vibe about the president? >> i do not think it was his happiest day after the 60 minutes speech. >> why is that? >> i think he is one of the most likable and congenial men i've ever known in the united states senate, and i think chuck will agree. >> something rare, which is four democrats, four republicans, coming together. you all served years since senator schumer came to the other body, and the gang of eight started to come together. the friday after the election, senator lindsey graham gave you a call. on saturday morning.
5:32 pm
you saw him on your call sheet. you called him, and you said what? >> i said, "hi, lindsey." that was wonderful, and he said he had talked to john mccain, and my heart went pitter patter. there are different television shows, sunday morning talk shows. and we both said we were going to do it, and there we are. >> senator, you have gone back and forth. what made you decide to join it? >> i have always been for it, but i have always been concerned about border security,
5:33 pm
and i think with good reason. if you talk to the experts, there are still a number smuggled into united states that come in from the border. there is huge violence. we have people on mountaintops that are drug dealers. there are these coyotes, and they mistreat them, and horrible things happen to people are brought across. we have made significant improvements, and there have also been technology advancements in places like iraq and afghanistan, where we can surveil the orders. it gets as hot as 130 degrees, and that is hard on people, so we have really got to do the technology side of this thing, which, by the way, the israelis have been able to do, and i am
5:34 pm
confident we can make that progress to assure our citizens that their lives are secure. we are in a secure building. in southern arizona every night, they have drug people going across their property. they deserve security. we can achieve that, and we are on the road to doing that. >> members going with you. what will you see? what will you see when you go to the border? >> first of all, they can see the vastness. the second thing they can see is the improvements that have been made. third, things that still need to be done. talking to the men and women on the ground, ones that are out there every day, literally risking their lives, there is nothing like having eyeballs on the issue to really get a good understanding. >> yesterday was the sixth meeting of the gang. >> yes, but we hate the word
5:35 pm
"gang." >> come on. let's rebrand it. what would you rather be called? >> group. >> group. great americans. how about that? >> what did you cover, and what is the next step? excuse me. these meetings are in your office? >> we alternate. we do not want it to be a democrat or republican proposal, so we alternate between john's office and my office. >> and then i try to get some kosher food for senator schumer. maybe some salmon or something like that. >> john said something when we were meeting about the details. i said, "do you think we can get this done by march?"
5:36 pm
and he said, "absolutely." last night, we started tackling some of the biggest issues, parameters for measuring when the border is secure and about those gaining citizenship, but since there are so many, and we want to make sure that they are not treated any better for crossing the border illegally than those who waited in line. we made huge progress. 15 minutes. our staffs are today meeting to with people from dhs, the border people, to go over some of the technologies that john mentioned and other things. these are set meetings.
5:37 pm
so we're going to meet on tuesday and thursday at a set time every week until we get this done, with wednesday being staff meetings to work out, and thursday to review what the staff has fleshed out with the legislative language and details. >> the audiences here and on line. you had said that you would have principles by february. a deadline beaten by four days, a record. legislative language by march, and, senator schumer, you said you hope for passage on the floor by late spring, which really means july, right? >> well, you do not know. we are right now ahead of schedule, as you were big enough to mention. i think in the country to get this done on both sides of the aisle, and senator leahy has been great. both john and i agree. we are going to go through committee.
5:38 pm
we are going to go through the regular order process. john and i worked on a group that came up with some rules changes in an effort to strengthen that, so we can go back. >> 51 votes. >> and we very much want to see the regular order restored. i have younger senators come to me and say, "what is a conference committee really like? how do you legislate in committees?" and it is because we do not do it anymore, and it makes being a legislator less pleasant, and we get less done, so the immigration bill will be the first big test. senator leahy agreed that we would have all of the time we needed. there will be a big market committee. lots of amendments out there, and senator reid has said when we are ready to go to the fore, we will, so our hope is late
5:39 pm
spring, early summer. >> they get together and oppose amendments. will you stick together? >> we have not talked about that, but i think. i think we have to, unless there is something we both agreed to. in other words, it is going to be as these kinds of things are, so we will have to take some tough votes in order to keep it intact, so that is so far down the road right now. we have not even had a chance -- >> one of the things we agree on is that the core principle has to stay intact. that does not mean that every single amendment john and i will agree on. we probably will not. i think it could take three to four weeks. it is such an important issue to america, and it is so
5:40 pm
complicated, and it deals with every aspect. i think we should have a full, robust debate. they hope that we can pass this with a nice, sizable bipartisan deal, that would make it easier for the house to pass. we do not want to have just five republicans. we will not get all five democrats. >> it will be there, either way. >> john and marco rubio have shown such strength. i have been really impressed with their design to meet us in the middle. the same thing with bob menendez and dick durbin on the other side. they are getting a lot of flak, and they are showing strength. that is another thing. but there is a trace of
5:41 pm
masochism in all three of us. [laughter] >> senator mccain, how hazardous is it for a young politician, like marco rubio? >> marco rubio represents a very large state. a lot of hispanic and latino voters. he understands the issues and is articulate. i think that it is very helpful to have a newer member of the senate that is of his, frankly, really, it a deep understanding of the issue and appreciation. as you know, his family came from cuba, and he understands, i think, the issues confronting the people that come to this country either legally or illegally as well as anyone, and i would like to say about chuck, he has been very strong.
5:42 pm
there are people on his side of the aisle. he has had to push back against that, as well. there will be people at both ends. they will not ever agree. they have to understand. we are not seeking 100 votes, but we are seeking 80 votes, and i think we can achieve that. >> senator schumer, that is the hope, getting a large majority on each side. senator mccain, you said that what senator marco rubio is doing is helpful to the senate. is it helpful to him? >> i think so. well, and he took a leadership role on a very important issue. one thing in my political life, if you do the right thing, it always ends up ok. if you do something for political reasons, in my
5:43 pm
experience, and i have done that, it comes out badly. i think marco rubio is doing the right thing. >> i agree with john completely in all of this. he is daniel in the lions' den. after we came out with the principles, he signed up with all of the talk shows, very conservative radio and television host, and it was amazing. rush limbaugh has been more hostile. >> yesterday -- >> on the show. >> marco rubio, in the lions' den, when the show started, he was far more hostile than at the end, and that will be a real service, -- >> what he is trying to do, and we are trying to do is to have our talk-show friends, people on the right at fox and others, they think the status quo is
5:44 pm
acceptable. the status quo is not acceptable to have 11 million people in the shadows in this country. i appreciate chucks cooperation. we have to get a secure border. in 1986, we gave amnesty to 3 million people, and now we have 11 million people in this country illegally. i do not want to hand down to the next generation a situation where we have another large group of people who have come to this country illegally, and i think chuck understands that. that goes all long way in assuaging the concerns. >> one more question. we, dick and i on sunday, we were on the phone with the hispanic leadership. there are the groups that so
5:45 pm
you're into of their brethren, brothers and sisters. brethren i guess is no longer a politically correct word. i do not know if there is a female analogy. >> sister. >> i did not want to say that in case i get criticized. sisterhood. they yearn for them to come out of the shadows, but they it understand that just to have a wish list and say, "this is what we believe and, and are not able to compromise, that will consign the problem to go on. it is not just for us with the groups, but understand that compromise is a necessary part of getting something done. >> there is one other dirty little secret here.
5:46 pm
72% of the hispanic american vote went to the president of the united states in the last election. republicans are beginning to appreciate that if we are going to have a meaningful dialogue with our hispanic citizens, latino voters, they are going to have to resolve this issue. it is just a fact. >> what specifically did governor romney do wrong on this issue? >> one of the things i enjoyed after i lost was the unceasing broad of criticism and second- guessing -- laughter] so -- >> so now it is your turn. >> i think the republican party has failed to understand to any significant degree the importance of this issue to our hispanic voters. i am talking pure politics, and
5:47 pm
that is we are elected to office because the voters think we will help them achieve their hopes and dreams and aspirations for the future. if you have a large block of americans who believe that you are trying to keep their brethren and sister good down, fellow hispanics down, obviously that is going to have an effect on their vote. so i think republicans, not all monolithic, but more sensitive to these hopes and dreams and aspirations that have been reflected in the ballot. >> ok. last question. we will plunge into specifics of the bill. senator mccain, there are republicans in the house and senate trying to derail this. one cannot from texas yesterday. how damaged will the republican party be? >> senator schumer and i are
5:48 pm
presenting two bills. it will be a tough, tough fight, american public opinion has shifted dramatically since 2007. poll after poll shows that the majority of the american people believe that there should be a path to citizenship as long as they pay a fine, back taxes, do things. do the things necessary in order to achieve citizenship, including being behind those two came to the country legally. that is a huge caveat and changes the numbers rather dramatically. civil however opposed to it is now looking at public opinion polls that are very different in my view than they were in 2006. >> senator mccain, if this goes down, what will be the consequences for the republican party? >> i think the trend will
5:49 pm
continue of a lack of support of hispanic voters, and also, as you look at the demographics, that means that we will go from republican to democrat, but there is a lot of issues that our citizens care about besides immigration that they will be making their judgments on, but until we get that issue resolved, then we will not be able to debate those. >> you are saying if this goes down, the republicans will be worse? >> i am not in the business -- yogi berra said, "do not try to predict, especially when you are talking about the future." i think it is a danger, but, mike, i think the reason we are doing this is because we see this issue out there unresolved. it is not so much concern about the future. >> i was just going to say, on
5:50 pm
our side, there are some who have heard the argument. let's leave that out there as an issue because it will insure the dominance of the democratic party for a long time. that is just as wrong as the people who say do not do anything, and i think the vast majority of democrats, the president included, want to get something done here. >> at the press conference the other day, i think there are a lot of people wonder about who wants this. why are you convinced that he once the achievement more than the issue? >> i have talked to him several times based surveys, and he really does care about it. he knows how important it is for the economy of the country. in has been our number-one issue to solve the immigration problem. 11 million people come out of the shadows and pay taxes. in terms of future flow, we all agree.
5:51 pm
it is absurd that we attract the best and brightest, let them get a ph.d., and masters, and then say you have got to go home and compete against us. it makes no sense. the president understands that. and let me tell you, he has been terrific. this idea that we were jockeying is not true. dick durbin and i spoke with him on sunday. we had a great conversation. he has been extremely positive. and i think he has played a very constructive role. he is a rally in the country, but at the same time, he is giving us the space to get something done, and i have been very impressed with not only the president's desire to get it done but his ability to work with us as part of a team to get that done, as leader of the team, which he is, but to get it done.
5:52 pm
>> every president in a second term worries about a legacy. i think he is worried more about getting this done than about harming the republican party. >> senator mccain, have you talked to president obama about this? what is the state of relations these days? >> i have great respect for the president. i hope and believe that at some point, we will all be meeting with the president on this issue because we need to coordinate with the administration. but i have not seen a degree of partisanship overall as there is today. we are showing some signs of bipartisanship. this thing we just did in avoiding the nuclear option in the senate. this option that i think republicans are more inclined
5:53 pm
to let the process go forward, and senator reid is more inclined to let us have amendments. i think when we are down to an 11% approval rating, there was a favorability. different things are favorable. a colonoscopy is viewed more favorably. we were in kind of bad shape, to save the least. i will not pursue that line and a further, but i have got this old mine. a guy rides up and says, "hey, did anyone ever tell you look like senator john mccain?" and i said, "yes." and he said, "does that not sometimes make you as mad as hell?" both sides of the aisle to work more with the president than we work with each other. maybe that is a little pollyannaish. >> i think, you know, american
5:54 pm
politics works in pendulum swings. i think the partisanship has reached its peak. >> you think not just on this issue but in general. >> the number one reason i am so invested in this issue is to get it done. number two, and john and i have talked about this, this is to set a new way of doing things in the senate or the congress of coming together on issues where we can come together, and i think it can happen. i really do. >> we did the defense authorization bill. 380 amendments, and we went forward and did the right thing. i am guardedly optimistic. >> we did postal reform. towards the end of the year, little noticed, but there were some complicated pieces of legislation. they did not pass the house, most of them, but they got through the senate with a good
5:55 pm
bipartisan support. >> do you buy this pendulum idea that it reached its nadir? >> maybe i am wrong. maybe that is not the case. we were able to make certain progress in other areas, and i think historians that study the senate will look back on this version of this nuclear option, because if it had happened, and it was going to happen unless we came up with this road map for the leaders -- >> this is the filibuster reform. >> on the filibuster, that if the senate had gone to a 51- vote body, it would have changed the nature of the united states senate forever. >> before you leave, senator schumer, you have some quality time with the president. one of the hats you wear, you are chairman of the joint inaugural committee. and some of the jobs are --
5:56 pm
>> ride in the limo with the president alone. it is a very nice limo. in any case, we had a very nice conversation. it was not different than the one we had here about what the next four years are going to be like. i do not want to give away the president's thoughts, but i expressed the same things that we have expressed here, that it is going to get better, that there will be more agreement, and i think there is agreement. >> what is that limo like? >> it is a lush, big, heavy. you can see out, but they cannot see in. >> what else did you talk about? >> that was the main thing. the main thing was that. my staff gave me a list of 22 things we needed in new york, and i was dying to ask him. i figured that was not quite appropriate. so a rare moment of restraint.
5:57 pm
a rare moment of restraint. >> ok. let's plunge in. monday, you put out the five- page bipartisan framework, and we would like to read between the lines. in the bipartisan agreement, it talked about a nonforgeable electronic means of employment verification. that is code for a super social security card that would have some sort of bioometric. senator schumer, you have said you are for this. senator mccain, what is your opinion? >> i am for this. i want to remind you that the 9/11 commission made a series of recommendations, and one of the things that was not implemented was this. there is technology now that could give us the social security card, people with a
5:58 pm
social security card, that is tamperproof, and -- >> you are for that. >> but let's be clear. people say a national i.d. card. that is a card you would show if a police officer came up to you. this would only be used in the same case as when you use a social security card. it just could not be forged. if we want to stop future flows, he is so right. i want to make a point. our goal is not to come back here 10 years from now. this means stopping future waves of immigration. other parts of it are something marco rubio has pushed, the entry-exit system. in other words, we have a biometric -- >> many people who are here legally have overstayed their visas. >> we have a biometric when you come into the country but not one when you leave. we have to fix that. second, the employers. why do illegal immigrants come here? it is simple.
5:59 pm
it is jobs. you can go to a province in southern mexico and make $3 per hour, below a minimum wage, lousy conditions, you are coming. we want to make sure employers do not hire people who are here illegally. the only way to do that is to have a card that is not affordable. right now, you can go down the street here and get a social security card or a driver's license or $100 that is forged. >> it sounds like you have the language, that this biometric security guard is there. >> it may be. but i do not think everyone, some on our side, are there yet. there are too many false negatives and false positives in my judgment. we're going to have to come up with something, but on the principle, we all agree. >> someone illegal in this country, if they do not know they are illegal or not, that is one thing. we have to make sure that
6:00 pm
someone you hire someone illegally that they will be punished. >> senator mccain, the white house wants the bill extended to same-sex couples. >> i think it is a red herring. i warn you, if you load the bill up, you will jeopardize the issue. we are talking about four principles that we have got to act on. look. i will be glad to talk about and discuss what are the ramifications and that, but if somebody views that as the most important aspect of comprehensive immigration reform, then we just have a fundamental disagreement. >> i sponsored this bill. i am for it. i care about it. we have not discussed it yet. it will be one of the bills on the table, but as john said, we have to first get our basic structure and framework.
6:01 pm
>> border security. i will tell you what my priorities are. so, again, if you are going to load it up with social issues, that is the best way to derail it, in my view. >> a question for you. how do you respond to critics on the left who fear that legal immigrants after the probationary period -- will you push -- to get a time limit? >> this is very important. i want to say a couple of things. that the commission can block anybody. people can immediately get a work visa. so they are out of the shatters. they can work. they can stay in the united states if they do not have a criminal charge against them, criminal law against them. we know that. but then we have then said let's secure the border and make sure some of the parameters are met.
6:02 pm
we are defining those as we speak, before you get a green card after citizenship, but we have agreed on a few things. every one of the 11 million who meet our criteria will be eligible. we have to figure out how to do that, and, obviously, none of us intend for people to wait a long period of time, but there is another principle on the other side, very important, to help bring marco rubio along, and to his credit, he has been talking it all along. he believes that by crossing the border illegally, you should not gain the advantage over somebody who waited their turn. somebody who applied to the u.s. embassy in january 2007, and somebody else crossed the border and is here january 2008, we all agreed that the person who waited in line in 2007 should be able to get that green card
6:03 pm
before the person in 2008. we have to figure out how to do that so it is not a long period of time, where people roll over -- where people are too old before they come, but at the same time, we have to make sure that this principle is kept, because that helps us pass the bill. two exceptions. dick durbin has worked very hard. we agree that should give special priority. >> these are -- >> and second, we need something special for agriculture, because it is a different situation. whether you were in new york dairy country or elsewhere, you cannot get americans to do this work. >> ok. senator mccain, did you speak to speaker boehner? >> something that needs to be done. real quick. the environment has changed since 2007.
6:04 pm
that is why we are guardedly optimistic. there are a whole bunch of things out there that we have to avoid or diffuse. i am confident that cautiously optimistic we can get this done. if we do not, i think it will have ramifications, not just for republicans but for the entire country, and to have a country with 11 million people living in the shadows is not the type of country we want to teach our children about. >> what is the path to getting this through the house? >> i think probably one of the scenarios is a majority of democrats in the house and a significant and maybe a majority of republicans in the house, i would not anticipate a unanimous republican support, but i think there can be significant support. >> a larger number of
6:05 pm
republicans we get in the senate, the more likely it is we will pass it, and second, going through the process, going through the floor and allowing them, it will help us homeless. -- hone this. we are going to get some amendments from very conservative members and very liberal members, and it will help refine and educate the house members about what this bill is all about in ways where it may be just as going to talk to them could not, and so i think that those things are important. a good number of republicans go through the regular way. >> asking a question, which i think is a safe topic for overtime questions, but first, what did i miss? is there something that should be button down here that i did not ask? >> moderate read state democrats -- red state democrats
6:06 pm
from montana, those that voted against the plan in 2007 -- >> i am not going to speak for any individual senator. look. we are going to get the overwhelming majority of senators, but we do not expect to get them all, so we will need a number of republicans to vote for the bill to get 60. >> all of the young people have a copy of the politico, which is required reading. there will be a written quiz on today's edition. [laughter] >> senator mccain, you mentioned senator kennedy in your remarks, and it was talked about senator schumer becoming the deal maker. he had influence with his democratic colleagues and the ability to reach across the aisle, so it is worth asking, is chuck schumer the closest thing to that right now? what did you learn from senator kennedy, or what part do you think he will play?
6:07 pm
>> i think senator schumer is assuming that role. it takes years, and i think chuck would agree with that, but he is certainly off to a very healthy start. one thing i noticed is that he is very shy and retiring, and it is hard to give his real views out. >> in brooklyn, i am known as shy. they are much more oppressive than i am. -- aggressive than i am. >> a trait that senator schumer and senator kennedy shares that, number one, they know exactly where they stand, number one, and number two, they will not change. they do not go back on their word. those are the keys to success. >> senator kennedy was a giant. he was my mentor. i admire him. i am a long way from him. >> there is a house grip -- are -- group.
6:08 pm
are you guys staying in touch with them? are you staying on the same page? >> we are going to. we just came out with guidance, so we need to take something to our house counterparts that we can agree on, but we want to work. we absolutely do, despite the traditional senate snobbery. >> we have not talked to this group. i have stayed in contact with senator durbin and menendez. they have been very supportive of what we have been doing, even if each specific is not something they support. >> that is a hard part of your role. you are kind of the bridge between the senate deal and what the white house and the left want. how do you pull them back? >> well, first, the desire to get a bill. we have been through this so
6:09 pm
many times. as john mentioned, a bill that passed and did not do their job. and more recent attempts that did not get anywhere. just think of yourself as a hispanic leader. you have all these people knew you know and deal with and talk with who are in the shadows. they are desperate to live a life and be americans the way the other 300 million americans are. we are willing to make a compromise. this is chuck schumer, but it is almost all of the democrats and the president, and the bottom line is a path to citizenship. they have so far, and i believe it will continue, given us the kind of flexibility we need to get a bill done, because not everybody agrees with me, agrees with john, or agrees with the head of a group or another. >> as we say goodbye, sunday's super bowl.
6:10 pm
senator mccain, you have a lot of sports packages. >> yes, i am a big sports fan. mediocre high school athletes are the biggest fans. that is what i was. but, you know, nobody thought the ravens would get to where they are, so i am kind of rooting for them. >> let's get predictions. >> close, a couple of points. >> but you are going ravens? >> yes. >> senator schumer? >> i went last year. i am a giants fan. i live and breathe the giants. it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. i was not going to go, and it is expensive and everything else, and my wife said, "you love the
6:11 pm
giants. you may be dead before they win the next super bowl." [applause] that was good logic. so i went, and i loved it. one of the things i am looking forward to is to see beyonce. i think she did a great job at the inauguration. [laughter] i look forward to seeing her in new orleans. she won me over early in my career. this story in "the post" was just made up. >> there was a story that said she had to apologize to senator schumer, and just to go behind the curtain, it was said that you angrily admitted.
6:12 pm
>> i was on the way out, and someone said, "has beyonce apologized?" i said, no. i was doing a press event about sandy. it was sunday morning. and on the way out, she put the microphone forward and said, "has beyonce apologized?" and i said no, and the headline was, "chuck schumer demands apology." [laughter] >> do you have a super bowl score? >> ravens, 4. joe flacco is from new jersey, almost new york. >> that is sufficient reason. two points. thank you for coming out. thank bank of america for making these fantastic conversations possible, and thank you, senator schumer and senator mccain. thank you all. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
6:13 pm
>> tomorrow we will show you portions of the senate come confirmation hearing of take hegel. here is a look. -- chuck hagel. here is a look. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to see an old friend and senator warner and the members of this committee who have contributed so much to our nation's defense. senator hagel, members of this committee will raise questions reflecting concerns with your policy positions.
6:14 pm
our concerns pertain to the quality of your professional judgment and your worldview on critical areas of national security, including security in the middle east. with that in mind, let me begin with your opposition to the surge in iraq. 2006 republicans lost the election and we began the surge and you wrote a piece in "the washington post." in 2007, you said it does not in the national interest to have military involvement. there was an exchange with secretary rice and the foreign relations committee after some nonsense about syria crossing the border into iran because of the surge. there is a reference to cambodia in 1970. you said "when he said he
6:15 pm
motioned, the kind of policies the president is talking about is very dangerous. as a matter of fact, madame secretary, the speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam if it is carried out, i will resist it." you continued on and on talking about what a disaster the search would be, even to the point where it was clear the search was succeeding. in march 2008, you said, "the term " quagmire could apply. even as late as august 29, 2011 , in an interview with the financial times, you said, "i disagree with president obama
6:16 pm
and his decision to surge in iraq as i did with president bush on the surge in iraq ." do you stand by those comments, senator hagel? >> i stand by them because i made them. >> were you correct in your assessment? >> i would defer to the judgment of history. >> were you write are wrong about the search? >> i will explain why i've made those comments. >> i want to know whether you are right or wrong. i expect a direct answer. >> it we reviewed the record -- >> please answer the question -- were you correct or incorrect when you said that the search would be most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam? correct or incorrect? >> my reference -- >> are you going to answer the question?
6:17 pm
were you right or wrong? that is a pretty straightforward question. answer if you were right or wrong and then you're free to elaborate. >> i will not give you a yes or no answer. >> let the record to show that he refused to answer that question. please go ahead. >> if you would like me to explain why -- >> i would like an answer -- yes or no? >> i will not give a yes or no answer. it is more complicated than that. i will do that judgment to history. for the comment i made about the dangers foreign policy decisions since vietnam, it was not just the surge, but the overall war of choice owing into iraq. -- going into iraq. that particular decision made on the surge, but waas -- of the
6:18 pm
war was a bad dangerous decision since vietnam. aside from the costs that occurred in this country, aside from what that date to take our focus off of afghanistan, which was the original and real threat to this country, iraq was not. i always try to frame all of the different issues for i make a decision on anything. we could have differences in opinions. that is essentially why i took the position -- >> it is a fundamental difference of opinion, senator hagel. when there are 59 votes and that senate that spend our time trying to prevent that 60th, thank gofd for senator lieberma.
6:19 pm
your refusal to answer whether you are right or wrong about it will have an impact on my judgment as to whether to vote for your confirmation or not. i hope you'll reconsider the fact that you refuse to answer a fundamental question about an issue that took the lives of thousands of young americans. >> senator, there was more to it that -- >> i'm asking that the surge, senator hagel. >> i know. i'm trying to explain my position. general allen had put in lace -- 100,000 young -- >> i'm very aware of the history of the surge and the awakening. i'm also aware that any casual observer will note that the surge was a fundamental factor led by two great leaders, general petraeus and ambassador -- -- >>
disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 2/2/2013